Nathan Nagaruk, 36

Owner of NJ Construction, LLC
Nome (AK) Covenant Church
Nome, Alaska


When Nathan first attended the University of Alaska in Fairbanks, he was always “finding a great party.” But when he committed his life to Christ he became involved with a Covenant Youth of Alaska ministry at the school. He’s now involved in numerous efforts to help Alaska Native youth. Nathan applied his knowledge of construction to help launch the Amundsen Educational Center, a faith-based nonprofit school in Soldotna that provides vocational training to Alaska youth. “I enjoy working with my hands,” he says. “Seeing something tangible being done is what I enjoy the most—and providing someone a place to live.”

He also speaks to youth groups and produced the documentary We Breathe Again about suicide prevention.

Nathan was nine when his father died, and he understands the importance of having mentors in his life. The men and older boys in his home village of Elim taught him to hunt and operate a boat and snow machines. “It was during that time that I was taught how to be a man of the family, and my best friend’s dad coached me along.”

Books on your nightstand/e-reader: Mostly real-life stories of people’s experiences in war. Some financial investing books.
Favorite way to waste time: Watching movies
Favorite TV show: I don’t have cable or watch TV. Doc Martin was the last one I watched.
Choose a superpower—fly or be invisible: Fly. I would get to see a lot of the country easier.